The Company BEV Announcement with FAQ

June 21, 2024

Friday, June 14th the Company finally announced to the Union and the Membership the anticipated news of the BEV Drive Unit delay. The Company stated the start of regular production is now scheduled to begin early 2027 from the original date of October 2025. This announced delay is also impacting a number of other sites across the business. The Company has shared in their Q&A post on their Facebook Page, one of the main reasons why they are making this adjustment is because the customer demand is not growing as quickly as they forecasted. All our volume in the plant is driven by customer demand. We have the popular Gen5 Engine and DCT Transmission which remain in high demand. The Union will continue to meet and discuss with the Company ways to lessen the impact on your pay and job security for this extended downtime. We will be sure to share updates as they become available.

Since this announcement the Union has received many questions from our members, some of which we don’t have full answers for yet, but this is what we can answer right now;

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long will GEN5 & DCT operations continue production? – Currently, both products are in strong demand with our customers to maintain their current schedule. After verifying with the Company there are no scheduled changes to volume for the foreseeable future. Gen5 is running strong at 3 shifts in machining and assembly and DCT to maintain their schedule at one shift. The Company also stated production is based on customer demand and is subject to change.

What about the Gen6? – The Union has brought the GEN6 up to the Company but at this time the Company is not prepared to discuss the Gen6 with the Union. The Union is always advocating for additional volume or new work to secure the future of our plant and gainful employment for all our members.

Why did we go with Drive Units instead of another engine or transmission? – When the Company approached the Union to discuss product allocation for St. Catharines, the were no other choices except Drive Units. The American bargaining investments were either for next generation truck/large suv or electric vehicle products.

Is the plant going to close? – The Company answered this question on their Facebook Page providing this answer, “No, St. Catharines will continue to play a role in ICE and EV components and during this time of transition we will focus on DCT and Gen5 production.” St. Catharines Propulsion Plant remains a key part of GM’s Internal Combustion and EV Propulsion production plans.

What are my call back rights? – Master Language 54(f) states anyone with less than 1 year of seniority will have 3 years of call back rights. Any member with more than one year seniority has 5 years of call back rights. Call back rights will go by order of seniority.

What if my call back rights expire? – Now that we’ve been updated with the new date for Drive Unit launch the Union will continue discussions with the Company on this issue and work towards reaching an agreement that protects our members should their call back rights expire. Everything beyond the terms of the collective agreement needs to be negotiated and agreed to by the parties. The Union will provide an update on this issue when new details become available.

EI/SUB questions? – EI Representative Vince Filice has a leaflet titled “Supplemental Unemployment Benefits – SUB Frequently Asked Questions” on tables in the West Clock house. His office is just left of the elevator in the West Clock House, and he would be happy to answer any of your EI/Sub questions. Previously the SUB benefit qualifier before 2020 require 6yrs of seniority to start accruing credits. After 2020 it went down to 3yrs. At 2023 negotiations we were able to change this eligibility requirement to 1yr of seniority with no accruing credits needed. You are given your entitled amount per your seniority. Check Vince’s leaflet for more.

What about EI/SUB for those with less than 1yr seniority? – Members with less than 1yr of seniority are currently ineligible for SUB. The Union has proposed to the Company some ideas on how these members could be made eligible which include a variety of options like considering workshare, union workplace training, weekend support, ect. To date we have NOT reached any agreement. We will continue to push this topic with the Company to reach an agreement and will provide updates to the members as they become available.

EI claims are based on your economic region of where you live as per government regulations. Everyone is delt with as an individual. Please see Vince Filice your EI Representative to learn the details to your specific situation.

Any update about government funding for the EV Drive Unit investment? – Both the Provincial and Federal governments have committed to support the EV Drive Unit production at St. Catharines. However, the details of those agreements are still being finalized, and will be announced at a later date.

How long do my benefits last after I get laid off? – For those getting laid off July 1st you will have benefits for the remainder of the current month plus 30 days, so end of August.

For those being laid off in September, you will finish the month of September and have an additional 30 days which brings you to the end of October.

We understand this type of news impacts many people in many different ways. Some members have already made use of the resources that are available to the membership through our Equity & Benefit Reps as well as the Telus Health Program. For more information on the Telus Health Program please contact your Equity Reps.

As more questions come in, we will do our best to address them in a timely manner and provide answers to the membership.

Issued by, Trevor Longpre, GM Unit Plant Chairperson
With the Bargaining Committee of Scott Little, Tony Verde, Stan Kuczma

No one has been disciplined for working safely. Take your time. Do it Safe. Do it right.

Click here for printable version

Scroll down for previous reports


Update on Electric Drive Unit Production

June 7, 2024

Following my last report on May 27, I have received many phone calls and texts from members asking questions about GM’s re-adjusted timelines for electric drive unit production. There have also been numerous media reports published, including some of the information I previously relayed to members.

I want to restate my message from May 27, to ensure everyone is clear: other than signaling a potential delay in e-drive unit work, GM has provided no written confirmation of its plans or its timelines. I have communicated to the company the urgent need to receive this detailed information, in writing, and expect a response shortly. More information will be provided to the members at that time.

I also want to take a moment to address some of the questions I’ve been asked about the broader EV transition and what this means for our members.

It is fair to say that none of us have experienced an industrial transformation of this magnitude, in our lifetimes. We are at the beginning stages of a major shift in automotive technology. Unfortunately, there are more questions right now than answers.

What’s clear is that this transition is happening. Since 2021, more than 90% of all announced investment in the North American auto industry (about $185 billion) is linked to EVs and EV-related programs. What’s unclear is how quickly EV adoption will happen. We know that EV sales are still rising, but the pace of sales is slowing.  Consumer demand for EVs will be determined by a lot of factors, including price and access to charging infrastructure. Unifor continues to advocate for these and other policies that grow the auto sector (in both internal combustion engine and EV segments) and support workers.

Navigating this road forward is something all autoworkers are faced with, everywhere, not just at GM. Earlier this year, news broke of delays in EV production at Ford Oakville. There have been many stops and starts in EV planning for Stellantis in Windsor, as well as a lengthy retool period announced for Brampton. These same challenges are affecting workers at the Detroit 3 as well as at Volkswagen, Nissan and other automakers in the U.S., and in auto plants throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America.

A smooth transition to EVs was never a likely scenario. How we manage this transition will be the critical test. The good news is that St. Catharines is still earmarked as among the few GM powertrain facilities scheduled to build critical EV propulsion systems of the future. We can’t lose sight of that fact.

Once the union has a clear picture of what, exactly, the company is planning we will take immediate and necessary steps to address any challenges it presents to the members. We already have a good foundation on income and job security within our collective agreement. We will explore every option to mitigate the impact this will have on our members. And we will continue to communicate all of this to the members moving forward.


Issued by, Trevor Longpre, GM Unit Plant Chairperson
With the Bargaining Committee of Scott Little, Tony Verde, Stan Kuczma

No one has been disciplined for working safely. Take your time. Do it Safe. Do it right.

Click here for printable version

Scroll down for past 2024 Chairperson reports


Company BEV Announcement last week

May 27, 2024

Last Wednesday the Company verbally relayed news of a delay in the BEV project through group leaders without providing any further details to the membership or Union leadership.

This announcement occurred when your Local Bargaining Committee and Benefit Reps were in London, Ontario attending GM and Auto Council while our alternates were covering these positions in plant. I personally was not able to attend council last week nor be in the plant due to a personal family matter out of town that I was caring for until Friday, which is the reason for the delayed response from the Union to this Company ‘announcement’.

The Bargaining Committee had many members reach out to them questioning this news because it was only shared verbally with no official written statement distributed by the Company. This form of verbal communication by the Company is not typical as we know, in fact it’s very odd.

Whenever the Company has made an official announcement in the past, it is always issued in written form with details on Company letterhead. To date, the Union has not received any written details pertaining to a delay of the BEV project to support this announcement. Why the Company chose to communicate any news of this importance verbally with no factual details is beyond me, but we will get to the bottom of it and provide feedback to the membership as soon as possible in a future Chairperson’s Report.

Going forward, the Union will insist any future communication from the Company to the Membership be in written form on Company letterhead to avoid the confusion, misinformation and the kind of exaggeration that occurs through verbal communication.

Many of our members continue to have concerns about the transition our plant is going through and how these changes might impact them. The Union continues to advocate for our members to mitigate the impact of this transition on our membership. For any questions you might have, please contact your Shop Committeeperson or myself anytime.


Issued by, Trevor Longpre, GM Unit Plant Chairperson
With the Bargaining Committee of Scott Little, Tony Verde, Stan Kuczma

No one has been disciplined for working safely. Take your time. Do it Safe. Do it right.

Click here for printable version

Scroll down for past 2024 Chairperson reports


Skilled Trades Update
 April 24th, 2024

As you are all aware, we have now seen the end of life for HFV6 program come, and for the first time in living memory of the STCPP, members of the Skilled Trades workforce are facing indefinite lay-offs while we transition to BEV 3 drive units. In the past, GM was able to avoid laying off Skilled Trades by absorbing them on to the construction projects as we re-tooled for new product programs. As part of the restructuring 2007 Competitive Operating Agreement, many changes were made to better position our plant to be competitive enough to attract future work. Some of the biggest changes in this agreement occurred with the Trades, going from 22 classifications to 5. This included exiting customarily performed work such as construction work. Presently in the Corporation GM Trades are no longer utilized to work on their own construction projects. This doesn’t mean we can’t do the work, but GM now prefers to have outside contractors manage these construction projects for them.

Last year, GM awarded the BEV 3 retooling project to Newman Brothers as General Contractors, who are sub-contracting to E.S.Fox and Procon, who all use hiring halls to supply them their labour needs. The General Contractor is under contract with GM and owns the project site and construction work being done. The General Contractor is also under their own safety management system. From a safety perspective this method protects GM from any liability during these types of projects.

The week of April 8th contractors were assigned a job to swap out a robot from inside a Prismatics washer to install in another machine. After a couple of calls for representation to protest went unsatisfied, some Trades from GF6 escalated the situation to me for attention on the matter. After gathering some facts about this assignment and learning of a second planned robot swap for the following week, 5 E.S. Fox contractors were assigned to both jobs with 4hrs quoted for completion of each job. With GM Trades on layoff the Union viewed this as a violation of Appendix R – under point 3 – Layoff Recall. As a result, I submitted a Policy Grievance on April 11th to argue the Company was not Fully Utilizing our Trades to do our customarily performed work to service our production equipment. On April 19th, I met with the Company to discuss this Policy Grievance. Throughout these discussions, the Company was able to demonstrate a prolonged track record of contractors performing this work on company assets like robots because GM trades were fully utilized, because business teams are short of manpower to perform this work. The Union was successful in its argument for the Company to full utilize GM trades during layoff and cited a prior successful grievance for a similar instance.

As a resolve to this policy grievance, instead of winning armchair pay for 5 trades for 4 hours each, I was successful in retaining job security for 5 additional trades to continue working over and above the required to run number for V8 and DCT that would have otherwise been laid off when GF6 end of life occurs. These additional Trades will continue to work until the BEV 3 project officially launches at which time the Drive Unit Division will have populated to its new required to run number. This is a far bigger win than just 4hrs of armchair pay for 5 trades. When project work like that occurs again, GM Trades will set up and finish the job as is the current practice and the apprentices will be reassigned to observe and learn to as part of their required training. This was implemented for the first time Wednesday April 24th, 2024 in V8 Head Machining. My goal as Chair of the Union remains to mitigate the impact of this transition to our members and continue to work with the Company to find ways job security with gainful employment for everyone, especially our Trades.

Primetime vacation approvals should be posted on your team room walls by now.

Issued by, Trevor Longpre, GM Unit Plant Chairperson

No one has been disciplined for working safely. Take your time. Do it Safe. Do it right.

Click here for printable version

Scroll down for past 2024 Chairperson reports


GMIN Update & General News      

January 24th, 2024      

 GMIN Update – The Union is pleased to report to all production members impacted by the GMIN shuffle that their date of entry into the plant will now be recognized along with their full-time conversion date followed by their gmin from low to high to determine their plant seniority. We were striving to do what was right and restore fairness for those that were negatively impacted.

While this is less of an issue in previous rounds of smaller full-time hirings, this last round of 154 conversions highlighted the adverse effects of such a large group being sorted solely by gmin order from low to high. This shuffle seen members with 3yrs of service end up near the bottom of their full-time hire group because of a high gmin number, while others who may have only had a year of service were placed higher in their group because they had a lower gmin number. With indefinite layoffs pending for the retooling of our plant, the urgency to get this done was a priority for me.

When the gmin letter was agreed to 4yrs ago no one then could have known the kind of impact the gmin shuffle would have had until it happened, especially in a large group like this. This had the potential to be 30+ year problem and we needed to find a way to make it fair and equitable for everyone. Former SWEs had the 5-digit clock number to keep them in plant entry order. The Union’s priority was to find a way to honor plant entry time for the gmin group in a similar way to the old clock number did for the SWEs.

We listened to the stories from our Local 199 members, we received support of the National Union,  local day shift bargaining and benefit committee representatives were able to share their input as well on this issue with local company leadership this week. Even though we struggled through initial conversations in early November the Union stayed persistent in this cause because we needed to make it right, not just for today but on a going forward basis.

After many discussions and hearing the impact to our members the union was pleased to hear this week that the company also wanted to make it right for our members. We worked collaboratively to come to an agreement to honor date of entry for all new hires hired since September 2020.

With this new development this will cause a delay in receiving February’s plant wide seniority list. Once we receive the new list from the company, we will repost it in the west clock house with the updated changes.

Layoff notices will be rescinded and reissued to the appropriately affected members who were last on the updated seniority list. For those members impacted please see Vince Filice in the EI office in the West Clock house for any layoff questions and see Lawrence in the same office for any benefit questions you may have.

For those impacted by the EV layoff you have Union Resources available to you that are encouraged to utilize. As we published in our ratification material every fulltime worker has gainful employment when the Electric Drive Units land. Every fulltime member has contractual call back rights as per 54F of the Master Agreement. This call back option has also been made available locally for the TPTs who are getting laid off who remain in good standing. To be clear, ALL fulltime members will be called back before any TPT.

EV Transition – Just for clarification, the week of January 28th 2024 is the official start of the EV transition.

Transfers – The 2024 Transfer list is now taking transfers. Updates to this list occur every Wednesday. Contact your Committeeperson for any assistance you may need. Reminder – there is a max of 4 entries. Submit all your entries online in consecutive order from 1st preference to last.

TEMPORARY PREFERENTIAL HIRE REQUEST *UPDATE* Calls have been placed to both Cami and Oshawa to see if there are opportunities to temporarily pref-hire to these locations. At this moment neither Oshawa nor Cami are in a position to take St. Catharines members. We are asking if any members who are interested in this potential option if/when it becomes available to leave their updated contact info in the Trades Union office.

 Issued by,

Trevor Longpre, GM Unit Plant Chairperson
On behalf of the Shop Committee, Stan Kuczma, Scott Little, Tony Verde  

No one has been disciplined for working safely. Take your time. Do it Safe. Do it right.


Click here for printable version

Scroll down for past 2024 Chairperson reports


V6 End of Life Update    

January 11, 2024 

 Layoff Numbers – Thursday, the Company handed out layoff notices to those members who will be impacted by the first phase of layoffs that are related to the End of Life of High Feature V6. After looking at past layoff announcements from the Company it was noticed they never announced the number of people impacted but many members have been asking for those numbers. Low Seniority Production Members impacted – 30, Low seniority IMMs impacted – 23, Low seniority Electricians impacted – 19.

Layoffs – Why are we doing a forced layoff by seniority instead of a voluntary inverse layoff?

This question from members has come to the Union’s attention this week and we would like to clarify this issue for our members so there is no misunderstanding. Since April of 2023 the Bargaining Committee has met with the Company many times to try and prepare for the eventual End of Life for V6 and the manpower movements that would follow. From the very beginning the Union has tried to negotiate and volunteer Inverse layoff just like we’ve done so often in the past. However, we have not been able to get the Company to agree to an inverse for the retooling period for a couple of reasons. The Company has stated there are additional costs of an inverse layoff for this extended length of time and the retooling period itself exceeds our temporary layoff language. The duration of the retooling period isn’t specifically known but it is projected to be at least 12-18 months. This timeline is dependent on many factors that are outside of St. Catharine’s control, such as tear out, infrastructure build back, machine delivery and install, safety and quality test runs, ect. With a project this size there is the potential for delays, just like we seen with the DCT installation.

Since the Union is unable to get an agreement with the Company for an inverse layoff, our remaining option was to follow our Local Language which lays out the contractual process for members to exercise their seniority on a plant-wide basis.  This can be found on page 9&10 of the Local, paragraph 17 B 3.

CALL BACK RIGHTS – members will be called back to work in line with their seniority. Contractually members with less than 1 year of seniority have 3 yrs call back rights and members with more than 1 yr seniority have 5yr call back rights as per paragraph 54 F of the Master Agreement on pg38.

Drive Unit Department – is currently scheduled to populate a small number of trades members this summer to work with engineering with the majority of trades and production to populate in the 2nd quarter of 2025. All positions to the Drive Unit Department will be populated by seniority through transfers.

EI information – Vince Filice and Adam Nie are ready and available to help answer any member’s questions pertaining to EI. He has updated information from negotiations that highlights the gains made to the EI/SUB program. Please visit his office beside the elevator in the West Clock House for more information.

1 of 2

Benefits information – Lawrence Robson is also located in the same office beside the elevator and can answer your benefit questions. If you have been given a layoff notice this week, be sure to visit these reps to get the information you need and the answers to your EI and Benefit questions.

Pension/Incentive – Ken MacLean has been the busiest person in the plant this week. He is working hard to use his knowledge to provide great service to all our members by taking the incentive. Thank you Ken for your diligence and long hours as you serve all the members preparing to retire. To our members who have taken the incentive, Congratulations again!


TEMPORARY PREFERENTIAL HIRE REQUEST – Calls have been placed to both Cami and Oshawa to see if there are opportunities to temporarily pref-hire to these locations. Our current contractual language is for permanent Pref Hire situations, but the call has been made to see if a temporary opportunity is available for our retooling period. As details become available, we will provide them in future updates.

GMIN # – The Union is in continuous discussions with the Company to address this issue to make it right. As details become available, we will share with all new hires.

Issued by,

Trevor Longpre, GM Unit Plant Chairperson
On behalf of the Shop Committee, Stan Kuczma, Scott Little, Tony Verde  

 No one has been disciplined for working safely. Take your time. Do it Safe. Do it right.


Click here for printable version

Scroll down for past 2024 Chairperson reports


January 3, 2024 

Happy New Year!

Welcome Back – I hope everyone was able to enjoy the holidays and were able to spend time with the ones you care about most.

IMPORTANT! As we get back to work, we all need to be reminded to think, act and work safely as we go about our work within these walls, our future depends on it.

What many members may not be aware of, as we were closing out 2023 in the month of November and December our energy control violations were trending in the wrong direction. They were on the rise. This is a very concerning trend towards the end of the year that we need to reverse. It’s on all of us to work safely and follow our energy control procedures properly. Our plant has more than enough reason to be vigilant in not having another critical injury.

It doesn’t pay to cut corners with safety. In fact, just the opposite. An energy control or lock out violation comes with an automatic 3 day served discipline. Note: The Union has never needed to represent any member for working safely. Part of our job is to follow GM safety policies. WE urge everyone at the start of this New Year to take the time to work safely and properly follow all ASA & Lockout procedure. You are being paid to work safe, not fast. If you encounter instruction to do otherwise this must be escalated immediately to your rep or to the safety department.

Congratulations – to all 104 members who applied for the incentive into retirement. This was a demand from members to achieve at Bargaining and we are to have delivered for these 104 members. We all wish you the very best in retirement. Congratulations again!

WE are not authorized to share names for privacy reasons, but the breakdown is 74 Production and 30 Trades. As the Company plans for the manpower changes ahead, the Union will stay close to those discussions and provide details to the membership as soon as we are able.

Note: These discussions are very fluid and details are changing on an hourly basis sometimes. This is made more challenging since the corporation has yet to provide publicly a definitive end date for the V6, which is like trying to hit a moving target.

Transfer news – For the first 3 weeks of January the current transfer list will be frozen. Monday January 22nd is the 4th Monday of the month which is the expiry date of the old transfer list. New submissions can be made after this date. A new transfer list for 2024 will be created the following week on Monday, January 29th with new submissions as per Local Language – Supplement No.1 of the Local Seniority Agreement pg17 & 18. After the first week the transfer list will be updated every Wednesday at 3pm. We can use the same QR code as last year to submit transfers. Contact your Rep if you have any questions. For New Hires, you must have 1 year of seniority to be eligible to submit your transfers.

This year will be filled with changes and challenges as we retool our plant to prepare for Drive Units. To clear up any mis-information on the floor, the anticipated plan is still to proceed with a plantwide seniority bump. If this anticipated plan changes we will communicate it to the membership.


V6 – End of production for assembly is scheduled for the week of January 8th. Headline has small volume until the end of February.

There are discussions on how to best celebrate the successful run of the HFV6 Engine, and the hundreds of people who’ve helped build them. This department has been the backbone of St. Catharines Quality and reputation for more than 2 decades, with numerous awards and countless memories.

V8 – Steady at 3 shifts in machining and 3 shifts in assembly. There is a constraint of V8 blocks in the system. There is the potential for supply interruptions, but the demand is very high from our customer, so every engine we make is going into a sold truck.

GF6 – volumes in the GF6 are stable with one shift in assembly with 3 shifts in machining. Plans are being developed to go to 2 shifts in machining. More information to follow.

DCT – is steadily running on one shift.

Union Awareness – Vince Guardari our Workplace Training Coordinator and his team of trainers led by Ashley Kofsky have done a great job delivering the Workplace Training material since ratification. I want to thank the entire team for all their efforts in providing a great atmosphere for education and dialogue. A new module is nearly finished being developed for the team to be trained on. We hope to have that available by the summer.

New for Attendance Program – All 6 Personal Emergency Leave (PEL) days reload January 1st. PEL’s can now be used on the weekend without the need to substantiate. Once all PEL days have been used substantiation will be required for each absence thereafter.


Issued by,

Trevor Longpre, GM Unit Plant Chairperson
On behalf of the Shop Committee, Stan Kuczma, Scott Little, Tony Verde  

 No one has been disciplined for working safely. Take your time. Do it Safe. Do it right.



Click here for printable version